Archive for the tag 'hurricane'

Source: nasa.gov

Sandy as seen from outer space. (Source: nasa.gov)

June 1 marked the dreaded beginning of “hurricane season,” an event that people in the area will take more seriously this year thanks to Superstorm Sandy. A Wall Street Journal report cited a study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that predicts 2013 will be an “active or extremely active” hurricane season. The study lists a 70 percent chance that the season will see 13-20 named storms and three to six major hurricanes.

With news that grim, it is important that everyone prepare themselves for hurricane season. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) prepared a 7-part YouTube series, available in both English and Spanish, that provides vital step-by-step information on how to best prepare for hurricane season.

The NHC also includes a link to their Tropical Cyclone Preparedness guide and reminds people that the most important thing to remember in the event of a hurricane is to use common sense.

FEMA, through ready.gov, put together their own hurricane guide that includes tips for preparing for storms. The Red Cross also has their own guide that includes a thorough checklist of all supplies needed in the event of another major storm.

Here at Sheepshead Bites we hope everyone stays prepared and stays safe. We encourage our readers to review and bookmark these resource guides for future reference.

Source: vcohen via Wikimedia Commons

Using logic that only makes sense on the 10th level of Hell, some insurance companies have told homeowners affected by Superstorm Sandy that their hurricane insurance doesn’t cover flood damage, according to a report in the New York Daily News. Of course, this comes as no surprise to any of us who’ve been grappling with it from day one.

Focusing on the devastating damage of local Rocakways couple Alex Savoie and Peggyanne Dubra’s home, in which a piece of the local boardwalk smashed into the side of their three story house, the report hammers home the callous and weasley legalese used by insurance companies to stiff them out of a payment. This is a reality faced by thousands of New Yorkers.

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Source: Antonio Martínez López / Flickr

THE COMMUTE: Last week, I wrote that fewer than 50 people showed up at the Brooklyn fare hike hearing, held the same day as the nor’easter, which possibly explains the low turnout. However, how do you also account for the low turnouts in Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens?

Approximately 120 people, including myself, attended the Manhattan hearing, held in an auditorium that could have accommodated at least 10 times the number of participants. Only approximately 30 attended the Bronx hearing. The Queens hearing was so sparsely attended, that there was a break before the 8:00 p.m. concluding time to allow for more speakers to arrive.

Even the elected officials seemed to boycott these hearings. In the Bronx, only Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz of Riverdale spoke. In the Manhattan, former mayoral aspirant Scott Stringer — who has now decided to enter the race for NYC Comptroller instead — testified. This is a marked contrast to the 2010 service cut hearings, which were so widely attended by the public and elected officials that many intending speakers, such as Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo, left after two or three hours waiting their turn. That Brooklyn hearing concluded at 11:30 p.m. So what happened this time?

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Photo by Erica Sherman

THE COMMUTE: If you did not attend the Brooklyn Transit Fare Hike Hearing held at the Marriott Hotel in Downtown Brooklyn last Monday because of the nor’easter, you have another chance. Another hearing will be held in Manhattan tomorrow evening from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Registration begins at 4:00 p.m. You also can pre-register on line here.

The Brooklyn hearing should have been rescheduled. Seniors and the disabled should not have been expected to brave the nor’easter, especially without full subway service. The MTA did not care, however. Fewer than 50 people showed up, one of the lowest turnouts ever. “I didn’t hear anyone calling for not having the election,” MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said. “We have to continue. We have to move forward.”

Last week I complimented Chairman Lhota on how well the MTA handled Hurricane Sandy and how well the agency works in times of crises. They were even considerate enough to provide two days of free fares. Well it looks like the crisis is over as far as the MTA is concerned, because it’s back to business as usual. A typically heartless MTA was unconcerned that residents in Sea Gate and Gerritsen Beach, who had lost their homes, had higher priorities than to brave a nor’easter in order to attend a hearing right now.

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Damage wrought to Manhattan’s South Ferry train station, which was completely submerged from the storm surge. Source: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin

THE COMMUTE: It is not too often that I compliment the MTA for a job well done. Regular readers of this column know most of my commentary toward the MTA usually is negative, but not this time. First, they did a tremendous job protecting the equipment from flooding by moving subways and buses to higher ground before the storm, as well as other protective measures to prevent damage to rolling stock and equipment. Then they worked ‘round the clock to remove standing water, clear debris, and check every foot of the system to ensure it was safe for service to return. That certainly was a monumental task. I just hope everyone doesn’t forget the storm in six months when elected officials start crying about MTA overtime. Overtime is not a bad thing in times such as these.

I spent nearly 25 years working for the MTA and saw firsthand what many of the problems were. However, this is not the time to discuss them. Suffice it to say that my co-workers would often compare the MTA, specifically New York City Transit, to a dysfunctional family. Squabbling between departments hinder many tasks from being completed efficiently. Those are during normal times, but not when there is a crisis. During those times, the MTA usually excels.

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The Mayor’s Office has put out a general summation of what’s closed, what’s blocked and what’s delayed. It’s a mess out there folks. Your best bet, stay home.

From NYC.gov

NYC Weathering Sandy – Stay Inside
The City is closely monitoring Sandy, which is bringing dangerous storm surge and high winds to New York City Monday night and Tuesday. For the latest Sandy forecasts, visit the National Weather Service or the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.

At this time, all NYC residents should stay inside, avoid using elevators, and stay away from windows.

Electricity

Con Edison has reported power outages to a large section of Manhattan stretching from East 39th Street to the lower tip of Manhattan. The outage was caused by flooding in company substations and engineers are working to correct the problem.

Con Edison said approximately 250,000 customers in Manhattan are without power.

Con Edison has begun the process of shutting off electrical service to a portion of Lower Manhattan, a move that will protect both company and customer equipment, and allow for quicker restoration after Sandy passes.

Customers can report downed power lines, outages, and check service restoration status by computer or mobile device at www.conEd.com. They also can call 1-800-75-CONED ( 1-800-752-6633).

Transit/Transportation

Alternate Side Parking regulations (street cleaning) will be suspended citywide on Tuesday, 10/30. Payment at parking meters is also suspended throughout the city on Tuesday, 10/30.

The MTA has shut down all subway, bus, and commuter railroad service and likely will remain closed throughout Tuesday. For more information, visit the MTA website.

The Staten Island Ferry service is suspended until further notice.

East River Ferry service is suspended. Learn more.

NJ Transit has implemented a gradual system-wide shutdown of all bus, rail, light rail, and Access Link service. Learn more.

All PATH train service and stations have shut down. Learn more.

Amtrak has canceled Northeast Corridor service north of NYC, and nearly all service on the eastern seaboard, including

Acela Express Northeast Regional, Keystone and Shuttle trains. Learn more.

The Holland and Hugh Carey (formerly Brooklyn-Battery) Tunnels are closed. Learn more.

The Tappan Zee Bridge is closed.

FDR Drive from Battery to 155th Street is closed.

The George Washington, Verrazano-Narrows, Throgs Neck, Whitestone, and Henry Hudson Bridges are closed.

The East River Bridges – the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg, and Ed Koch-Queensboro bridge – have closed. After 7 pm, only emergency vehicles will be permitted on those bridges.

Schools/Colleges

All NYC public schools will be closed to students Tuesday, 10/30. For more information, visit the Department of Education website.

All City University of New York (CUNY) Colleges are officially closed Tuesday, 10/30, and all classes are cancelled. For more info, visit CUNY.edu.

Miscellaneous

In preparation for Sandy, City parks, playgrounds, and beaches are closed. Surfing is prohibited at all beaches throughout the course of the storm. Learn more via the Parks website.

This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.

Photo by Rovshan Danilov

Sheepshead Bay Road and Voorhies Avenue.

Do you have photos of Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath? Send your pictures to tips@sheepsheadbites.com

The Worst Is Over


Well, folks, we survived. It’s a bit past midnight and from what we can see, the waters are beginning to recede, power is coming back slowly and the long clean up is beginning. Hell, Jay Leno is back on the air.

But, we’re not done yet. The water level of the ocean and bay is still higher than normal and the winds are still gusting. Tomorrow morning will bring a new high tide and another surge.

Thank you for all your tips and photographs. We’ll be putting together more posts full of your photos in the coming days. While we love getting information from your vantage points, please don’t endanger yourself to get us tips. Use your head when taking photographs. Don’t enter any standing water. Stay away from downed wires. The winds may be gone, but the danger is still there. Stay safe.

Stay home if you can and keep reading Sheepshead Bites for the latest news on Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.

BREAKING NEWS: 10:21 PM This just over the radio – report of main building of Coney Island Hospital is on fire. Units are trying to respond but are reporting that streets surrounding the hospital are flooded and un-passable.

EDIT: 10:31 PM. FDNY is reporting that Coney Island Hosptial is surrounded by “three to four feet of water.”

EDIT: 10:33 PM. Reader James W is reporting that “Ocean Parkway from Ave W south as far as I can see, is flooded. There is a huge emergency response.”

EDIT: 10:41 PM. FDNY is reporting that they are unable to access Coney Island Hospital at this time. Dispatch responded with “no boats available.”

EDIT: 10:50 PM. Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny is reporting on Facebook, that the fire is currently unconfirmed.

EDIT: 11:20 PM. The FDNY has just tweeted “units are on scene at Coney Island Hospital. No confirmed fire or reports of injuries at this time.”

EDIT: 11:43 PM. Reader Lisa P writes in, “spoke with a friend working there tonight. It was a car fire outside and they put it out with fire extinguishers. They are w/o power and working off generators.” Reader Jennifer R writes, “I was worried to death for my mom, i just called her and they actually had signal. Apparently the power went out and the fire is from an outside car and NOT from inside of the building, thank you for scaring me.”

Sorry for the scare Jennifer.

This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.

BREAKING NEWS: A fire has just been upgraded to a “2 alarm” at 2800 East 29th Street. FDNY response is being hampered by flooded streets.

This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.